By Robert O’Reilly
Drogheda United will be aiming to cause an upset when they host league leaders Cork City at United Park on Friday, kick-off 7.45pm.
The Drogs suffered their 16th league defeat of the season last Friday as they lost 1-0 at home to fellow relegation candidates St Patrick’s Athletic.
Defeat leaves the Boynesiders eight points adrift of safety with nine games left with Drogheda United manager Pete Mahon searching for positives.
“I thought we were much better in the second-half,” Mahon acknowledged Wednesday evening. “We were a little flat to begin with but I thought we really brought the game to St Pat’s after the break and were unfortunate not to get a point.
“How we ended the game reminded me of the type of performances we put in last year. Training has been much sharper and more positive over the past couple of weeks and we need to make sure that last Friday was the minimum performance level we expect for the rest of the season.”
Cork lost their season-long unbeaten run on Monday as they were beaten 1-0 at home by Bohemians though they still hold a 17-point lead over nearest challengers Dundalk.
The Leesiders have won both games against Drogheda so far this season and Mahon is expecting to come up against a wounded animal on Friday.
“The result earlier in the week does us no favours. Cork will be coming here with a point to prove and will obviously be looking to wrap up the league title as soon as possible.
“We know that games are running out for ourselves. The other teams around us have not only strengthened in the transfer window but also picked up results over the last few weeks.
“It’s a very important game for ourselves but Bohs have shown that anything can happen in this league. Hopefully with a little bit of luck from the footballing gods, we can cause an upset.”
Drogheda will be without the injured quartet of Gavin Brennan, Kevin Farragher, Ciaran McGuigan and Stephen Elliott though Richie Purdy and Ryan Masterson will return to the first-team squad.